Pakistan, Saudi Arabia to discuss ‘augmenting’ KSA $3b deposit

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Pakistan and Saudi Arabia will discuss the possibility of “augmenting” the kingdom’s $3 billion deposit in Pakistan’s central bank by extending its term “or through other options,” a joint statement said on Sunday.

Last year, Saudi Arabia deposited $3 billion in the State Bank of Pakistan to help support its foreign reserves. With a yawning current account deficit and foreign reserves falling to as low as $10.8 billion, the country is in dire need of external finances.

Pakistan also welcomed a Saudi decision to extend an agreement to finance exports of crude oil products and oil derivatives, Saudi state news agency SPA reported.

The statement came after a visit by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to Saudi Arabia, where he met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

In the statement, the Kingdom affirmed its continuous support to Pakistan and its economy “including the discussion of augmenting the $3 billion deposit with the central bank through term extension or otherwise, and exploring options to further enhance the financing of petroleum products and supporting the economic structural reforms for the benefit of Pakistan and its people”.

“Pakistan greatly appreciates the continued strong support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to Pakistan,” the statement said.

The joint statement also said Pakistan and Saudi Arabia affirmed their stance to consolidate security and stability, renounce extremism, terrorism and support the unity and independence of the countries of the region and their territorial integrity.

The two sides also agreed to give priority to political solutions that bring prosperity and progress to the region and its people.

During the PM’s visit, the two sides exchanged views on issues of mutual concern at the regional and international levels, and agreed on the importance to continue coordinating their positions in a way that serves their interests.

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